Goa, India: Travel Tourist Information Guide

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It is India’s smallest state which is on India’s West coat. It used to be a Portugese colony so it has a rich history. It was conquered by the Portugese in the early 16th century and returned to Indian rule in 1961.  It is spread over 3,700 square kilometeres. The population of Goa is around 1.4 million. The culture is diverse and is a mixture of Indian and Portugese cultures. It is one of the popular tourist destinations in India that attracts around 2.5 million visitors each year. Goa is visibly different from the rest of India which owes its isolation to the Portugese rule. The population is a mixture of Hindues and Roman Catholics. There is also a small Muslim population. The communal violence has been non-existent and Goa is regarded as one of the peaceful states in India. The best time to visit Goa is mid-november to mid-February when the weather is more comfortable, dry and pleasant. Goa has two districts which are North Goa and South Goa. The cities in North Goa are Mapusa, Old Goa, Panaji, Pernem and Valpoli. The cities in South Goa are Canacona, Mormugao, Quepem, Salcette and Sanguem. The most notable cities are listed below: 

Panaji

It is also known as Panjim. It is the capital city of Goa. It used to be known as Nova Goa during the Portugese rule.  It has a river flowing along one side of the city. The nearest airport to Panaji is at Dabolim which is 35km away. It is also possible to get there by other public transportations such are by by and by train. There are plenty of acitivies and sights in this city. The main sights are Miramaar Beach, Panjim Church, Maruti Temple, Customs Museum, Goa State Museum, Kala Academy and many more. The main activities are diving, boating and bird watching. 

Mapusa

The town is located in North Goa and around 13 km from Panaji. It is one of the most improtant market centres in Goa. It is a town for locals. It has a very colorful weekly Friday Market which also attracts a number of tourists. It can be easily reached to Mapusa by bus from Panaji and because it is a small town, it is possible to get around by foot. 

Old Goa

It is the former colonial capital of Goa. It has a rich history with some scenic churches and convents which are still well-maintained. The sits is maintained by the Archeological Survey of India and it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located 9 km from the capital, Panaji and it is easy to get there by taking a bus from Panaji. There is so much history in Old Goa so the best way to exlore it is by foot. The famous sights are Basilica of Bom Jesus, Museum of Christian Art, Chapel of St. Catherine, Archeological Museum and Portrait Gallery and many more.